Forces and Motion

Things you'll need to decide on as you plan: Resultant Force sets Acceleration

Teaching Guidance for 14-16 Supporting Physics Teaching

Bringing together two sets of constraints

Focusing on the learners:

Distinguishing–eliciting–connecting. How to:

  • idealise from everyday experiences the lived-in world to develop the idea of a natural motion
  • distinguish between everyday motions of the lived-in world and the idealised world of Newtonian mechanics
  • draw out children's ideas of force and motion
  • reactivate, and then use children's prior learning

Teacher Tip: These are all related to findings about children's ideas from research. The teaching activities will provide some suggestions. So will colleagues, near and far.

Focusing on the physics:

Representing–noticing–recording. How to:

  • represent idealised motions as natural motions in a frictionless world
  • deal with remote causes—action at a distance forces
  • introduce mass, and not conflated with quantity of matter

Teacher Tip: Connecting what is experienced with what is written and drawn is essential to making sense of the connections between the theoretical world of physics and the lived-in world of the children. Don't forget to exemplify this action.

Limit Less Campaign

Support our manifesto for change

The IOP wants to support young people to fulfil their potential by doing physics. Please sign the manifesto today so that we can show our politicians there is widespread support for improving equity and inclusion across the education sector.

Sign today